Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Bargains too good to be true trigger a raid by federal agents on a Baltimore flea market. Investigators say so many counterfeit goods were found, it will take days to catalog it all. It went down Sunday morning in South Baltimore.
Alex DeMetrick has the latest on the raid.
The flea market at 1400 West Patapsco opened with a bang.
“They hit the doors. They bum rushed the doors– say about 10 agents to each door– and they just took everything,” Brandon Long, a flea market vendor, said.
Not quite everything. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from the Department of Homeland Security were very particular about what they were looking for.
“Seizing merchandise that is either counterfeit, pirated or unlicensed– could be luxury goods such as purses, sneakers, that type of stuff, sunglasses,” William Winter, an ICE special agent, said.
But what specifically was counterfeited, agents won’t say.
Local company Under Armour did release a statement, saying: “Under Armour is passionate about protecting our trademark and intellectual property, and applauds the support of Homeland Security investigations.”
That’s because Under Armour, like other manufacturers, spends a lot of money making and marketing products. Illegal knock-offs cut into legitimate sales and profits.
“It’s a huge issue. It’s a multibillion dollar industry, and it impacts the U.S. in many ways,” Winter explained.
Agents told vendors it may take until Wednesday to go through and take illegal goods as evidence, although they knew exactly where to look.
“Any merchandise that wasn’t real was gone. Everything. Everything,” Long said.
Agents tell WJZ this raid was the result of two-and-a-half-year investigation.
Federal agents have not said if any arrests were made in the raid, although more information should come out on Monday in court documents.